Plant wisely

first_imgBy Faith PeppersUniversity of Georgia Georgia’s last frost date has passed. And just in time for spring garden planting, rain has returned to Georgia. But those water-conservation habits learned during the drought can still be a sustainable way to keep landscapes healthy.“Just because we’ve seen a lot of rain in the past few weeks doesn’t mean it’s time to forget about water conservation in the landscape,” said Todd Hurt, a program coordinator with the University of Georgia Center for Urban Agriculture in Griffin, Ga. “But, Georgians can get busy planting in their gardens.”Drought conditions over the past three years have had many Georgia gardeners holding off on planting annuals and new shrubs. But with some smart planning, it’s OK to plant what you want, he said.“Simply concentrate high-water-use plants such as annual color plants or highly maintained turf in locations where we can supplement rainfall when necessary,” he said. Hurt recommends developing a strategy to water plants with only one or two moves of a hose-end sprinkler. “The water illogic areas in your landscape will become obvious if you think of it this way,” he said. “The narrow strip of turf next to the street or long line of annuals next to the established shrub bed would be the last to get water.”He suggests planting annual color plants in small beds or containers close together. This will give your landscape the color and texture you want, but still conserve water. Other ways to conserve include mulching and using drip or soaker hoses when possible. A professional audit of your irrigation system can help find and correct problems, too.“There are tons of new technologies on the market,” he said. “There are new lawn rotator heads that use fingerlets of water versus one concentrated stream which allows for a more even wetting of the soil. There are even sprinkler heads that shut off when damaged. That’s right. We can prevent the irrigation geysers we have all seen at the mall parking lot.” Georgia’s population continues to grow, creating greater demand on its limited water supply. Though the rain has returned, the Georgia Environmental Protection Division will monitor certain indicators that must return to normal for around four consecutive months before it will change statewide water restrictions. However, HB 1281, passed last year, says local water providers can request a modified drought level based on their water supplies. “I heard from a couple of sources that Athens/Clarke County and others in that watershed have asked or will be asking to go to level 4b, which is two days a week water use by May,” he said. “Another 57 or so water providers in the drought level 4 area are already approved for outdoor water use two or three days a week.” No matter what drought level your county is in, he said, 25 minutes a day of hand watering is allowed on the odd-even system. If that time is used wisely, most plants will not only survive, but will do well.“Water conservation efforts should continue, even though we are getting rain,” he said. “It’s the responsible thing to do.”To find out what drought level you are facing, go online to: (Faith Peppers is a news editor for the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)last_img read more

Family accuse Balerang Police in Batam of torturing detainee to death

first_imgFamily members of a detainee who reportedly died at the Balerang Police station in Batam, Riau Islands, on Saturday have accused officers of torturing him to death.The accusation came to public attention after the detainee’s nephew, Alfajar Madani, shared the chronology of his uncle’s passing in Twitter. Alfajar’s family members then went to Budi Kemuliaan Hospital to take Hendri’s body. However, they said they found bruises all over his body and his head was wrapped in a plastic bag.According to Alfajar, police told the press that Hendri had died at the hospital after an asthma attack. Alfajar, however, said that his uncle had no history of asthma.Balerang Police chief Sr. Comr. Purwadi Wahyu Anggoro refused to comment on the incident.”I don’t want to give any statement for now. We’ll hand the case to doctors to determine his cause of death,” he said on Tuesday as reported by (nal)Topics : Alfajar’s tweets went viral, gaining more than 23,000 retweets and comments.”I want to ask the readers [of this tweet] to voice [my demands for] justice for my deceased uncle, Hendri Alfred Bakarie. He was apprehended by police officers on Aug. 6 at around 3 p.m […]. The officers did not bring any arrest warrant,” Alfajar tweeted on Monday.He said the following day several officers, who claimed to be from the Balerang Police, had brought Hendri to his house to search for evidence but had found nothing.”On Aug. 8, at around 1 p.m. police officers came to my uncle’s house to pick up his wife. They said she was allowed to visit him. So my uncle’s wife, my aunts, my grandpa and grandma went to the Barelang Police station […]. At the station, officers told them that my uncle had passed away at 7:13 a.m. that morning,” he wrote.last_img read more

Federer, Nadal Renew Rivalry in Dream Final

first_imgAs Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal won match after match at the Australian Open, making their unlikely way through opposite sides of the draw, tennis fans couldn’t help but look ahead. Could the two old rivals, almost six years on from their last meeting in a Grand Slam final, possibly meet for one more match for the ages in Melbourne?Federer and Nadal each had to survive epic five-set matches in the semifinals, but they did not disappoint. And now, the dream final tennis fans had hoped for when favorites Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic were upset in the first week is going to happen today Rod Laver Arena. What’s at stake is bigger than just Federer-Nadal XXXV, or even the Australian Open title. There’s also history to play for: If Federer wins, he’ll add an 18th Grand Slam trophy to his career record total, putting distance between himself and his rivals. If Nadal wins his 15th, he’ll pass Pete Sampras for sole possession of second place on the all-time list, and pull tantalizingly close to Federer’s 17.‘’The historical context of that match, whether it becomes 17-15 with the French Open next, or 18-14, that’s such a big difference in the historical march for both those guys,’’ former U.S. Open champion Andy Roddick told The Associated Press in Melbourne a few days ago. ‘’That might be, as far as history goes, the biggest match ever in Australian Open history and maybe Grand Slam history. What’s at stake there is beyond what pretty much any player can comprehend.’’The magnitude of the moment is not lost on the players themselves. ‘’Rafa’s definitely presented me with the biggest challenge in the game,’’ Federer said after his semifinal win over U.S. Open champion Stan Wawrinka. ‘’I’m happy we’ve had some epic, epic battles over the years, and of course, it would be unreal to play here.’’Nadal said neither player could have imagined making the final of the year’s first Grand Slam after coming back from their respective injuries in 2016 – Federer, his knee; Nadal, his wrist.Both men took time off last season and had difficult draws in Melbourne because of their lower rankings.‘’For me, it’s a privilege,’’ Nadal said. ‘’It’s a very, very special thing, I think, for both of us to be in the final of a major again, have another chance to compete against each other after a couple of years having some problems.’’Nadal has dominated Federer in their head-to-head match-ups – he has a 23-11 record overall and has won nine of their 11 matches in Grand Slams.But Federer likes his chances on the hard courts at the Australian Open this year – he believes they are playing faster than in years past, which suits his game better than Nadal’s.Federer should also be fresher for the final, having spent far less time on court than Nadal during the tournament (13 hours, 40 minutes vs. 19 hours) and having an extra day to rest in between the semifinal and final. Both men have survived two five-setters, but Nadal’s were far longer and more draining.Federer may also have the edge confidence-wise. Nadal’s results have dipped dramatically in recent years and he’s struggled to play well against the top players. He hasn’t been past the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam since the 2014 French Open, also the last major he won.Nadal, though, remains one of the fittest players in the game and is certainly hungry for major success again after years of disappointing losses.Whoever wins, the match is sure to be memorable. A massive crowd is likely at Melbourne Park, as well, after organizers decided to open the 7,500-seat Margaret Court Arena for fans to watch the match on a giant screen.‘’I just know that two of the greatest players of tennis are going to square off on Sunday,’’ Grigor Dimitrov said after his nearly five-hour loss to Nadal in the semifinals. ‘’And it’s going to be (an) amazing match.’’Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more